8 Cancer Jiles vs. 12 John Kennedy Royko Jr.
“COOL” Cancer Jiles steps to the corner of the ring and leans on the turnbuckles. All the lights go out and “Possum Kingdom” by Toadies begins to play. A white strobe light starts flashing as the crowd remains rather neutral. The music plays for a good minute and nothing really happens.
Richard Parker: Are we going to have a match here or not? Let’s go, we don’t have all night.
Suddenly, from behind the curtains enters the 6’7” John Kennedy Royko, Jr. whose face is now covered by a terrifying mask. A bull ring is affixed on one end to his nose and on the other to a long chain that is still trailing behind him dragging along from the back. He looks at the crowd in bewilderment. He suddenly starts yelling and rushes towards the fans lining up in the seats near the entrance way. He’s just about to the fans who are scurrying away, small children are terrified, but most fans just hold up their cell phones for pictures. Just as he’s about to strike a brave fan the monster is jerked back by the tautness of the chain.
Nick Stuart: A totally different side of John Kennedy Royko Jr. I’m not sure what to make of this. I’m still very confused. Is his knee really healed? What is with the gross mask?
Richard Parker: JK Rokyo is DEAD, Nick!! This is Balaam!!! Pay attention.
The old cowboy with the long black duster enters from the back holding the other end of the chain leash. He fishes it by wrapping more of it around his fist pulling the monster closer. Chain in one hand, whiskey bottle in the other the cowboy stops for a nip. Some of the older crowd starts a “Duke” chant which the old man just ignores. Entering behind the old cowboy who is known as the Harbinger of Malice, is Joe Burro who is holding a golden bible high above his head.
Richard Parker: Wow I haven’t seen The Good Book in a long, long time!! This is it, Stuart! This is the prophecy!! The Good Book speaks of the monster who ushers in the second coming! I feel it! I know it! Is Hoyt Williams here? Is our Personal Jesus amongst us? WWHD?? What would Hoyt Do?!?
Nick Stuart: I can’t believe you buy into PRIME’s version of scientology. It’s garbage. Bad fiction. This is bad theater.
Richard Parker: Look, I know this mask is creepy as all get-out but this is HOYT we’re talking about! You better start doing your jumping jacks for Jesus and talk in a lower tone. That big monster might hear you.
Nick Stuart: Please.
The ring announcer Vince Howard is confused but goes on like a pro reading off what he knows.
Vince Howard: From Prospect Height, Illinois, The 2020 John Lynch man of the year award winner. JOHN KENNEDY ROYKO JR!
The monster is hesitant to get in the ring but the cowboy yells at him and chops him hard in the chest. The monster lets out a roar and makes his way into the ring. A fan tries to jump the guardrail but is quickly stopped by security. The Harbinger of Malice looks over at the fan and just shakes his head in dust as he holds on top his hat as he gets into the ring. He pushes the monster into a neutral corner.
Nick Stuart: Oh man that’s not a fan trying to get to the ring that’s John Kennedy’s fiancée Aurora. She is emotional as security will not let her through. Unbelievable.
Richard Parker: You can’t allow emotional family members to interfere with you while at work. That’s how you get fired. Keep her away!
Nick Stuart: He retired!
The old Malice Man undoes the chain and tries his best to hold the monster in his corner.
Nick Stuart: Here we go! It looks like we have a fight after all!
Royko is staring a Cancer Jiles-sized hole through his competitor. Elvis Nixon calls for the bell and the action is underway.
Jiles immediately moves to engage his massive opponent and steps into range of a verbal attack. Just as he opens his mouth, Royko grabs his entire face with his outstretched hand and throws Jiles across the ring into the corner, end over end.
As Jiles gets to his feet shaking his head he is met with a thunderous charge and shoulder tackle driving him back into the corner. Cancer crumples into the corner, but Royko will not let him rest and grabs the smaller man under the armpits, he lofts Jiles almost straight up into the air and lets him fall to the mat. “The Cool” flails as his torso hits the mat and he groans. Royko looks to the side of the ring where Duke Williams is pounding the apron and pointing to Jiles. Joe Burro stands behind Duke holding the golden Bible over his head.
Nick Stuart: This is clearly not the start Cancer Jiles had in mind. He is being absolutely handled by that perversion of Royko!
Richard Parker: With Hoyt as my witness, we are seeing greatness!
As Jiles gets to his knees, coughing, he is grabbed by the back of the neck and dragged across the ring. Duke directs Royko to more damage as the big man runs forward and full-clears Cancer over the top rope. The smaller man sprawls and rolls on the mats outside the ring into the barricade. Unsure of what to make of the scene, but knowing that they want to see Cancer Jiles get what is coming to him, the fans let Royko know.
Royko steps over the top rope and methodically works his way down the steps to ringside. He flips up the ring apron and drags two wooden folding tables out from under the ring. Elvis Nixon, meanwhile is in the ring admonishing Royko and counting at the top of his lungs.
Elvis Nixon: ONE! TWO!!
Duke Williams yells something across the ring and Joe Burro hops onto the ring apron. He holds aloft the golden Bible and Elvis turns to reprimand Burro. As the referee is arguing, Royko grabs both tables by the edge in the center, one in each hand. Cancer Jiles stands up and turns around, stumbling toward Royko who swings BOTH tables toward one another.
Cancer is smashed between the tables and crumbles to the mat outside the ring. Royko drops the tables just in time as Joe Burro drops from the mat and Elvis Nixon turns his attention to the action outside the ring again.
Nick Stuart: Good Lord! What a shot!
Richard Parker: I think you mean Good Hoyt!
Nick Stuart: Cancer Jiles is being completely manhandled right now. What is he going to do to get back into this match?
Richard: I don’t know, but I can’t say I hate it. Balaam’s not playing around!
There is hardly a stir from Cancer as Royko rolls back into the ring to stop the count and then is back out quickly. Duke Williams nods and JKR Jr. grabs Cancer by the tights and picks him up like a duffel bag. The masked man effortlessly projects his competitor back in the ring and hops up onto the apron. As he does, Jiles summons whatever energy he has and lunges forward with a deft thumb to the throat. Royko stumbles and falls backward, and it looks for all the world like the referee missed the blatant cheap shot.
Duke Williams is livid and pounds the mat vigorously. Words that cannot be repeated on television are directed at Elvis Nixon, but a stinging “SUMBITCH” ala Buford T. Justice rings through the din of the crowd. Cancer leans over the ropes and tries to gather himself. As Royko rolls over and stands, facing Joe Burro and the golden Bible, Jiles slowly backpedals and lets the huge man back up to the edge of the mat. There are no more glib words and no devilish shine in his eyes at this moment.
Royko steps back over the top rope and as he does, Cancer runs forward. He grabs the top rope and lifts it as hard as he can. Royko bellows and stumbles in the ring. Jiles deftly circles behind him and lunges forward with a chop block to the “bad” knee. JKR Jr.’s muffled cries escape the mask and echo into the first few rows of the audience.
Nick Stuart: That was as effective as Cancer Jiles has been since he came to the ring! The fans are letting him have it for that one!
Richard Parker: Normally I am all for a good crotch shot, but that made me wince.
Cancer quickly goes to work on the “injured” knee. Several stomps and a punt kick to the joint leave the masked man in agony. He pauses for a moment and limps around the ring while he pretends to cry, mocking Royko. Jiles peacocks around a bit longer before grabbing Royko’s leg once more and spitting on the fallen big man.
Nick Stuart: Now that’s just uncalled for. Besides, he said he wasn’t going to target the knee!
Richard Parker: That’s just strategy, Nick.
Nick Stuart: I call it being a treacherous snake!
Richard Parker: Is it really treachery if you know it is coming?
He grabs Royko’s leg and drops an elbow inside the larger man’s joint. When he hits the ground, he transitions into a knee crank and Royko howls. Duke Williams removes his hat and slaps the mat again screaming something at Royko.
Jiles tries to posture for leverage and stands up to lock in a standing leg lock, but as he does, John manages to get his other foot on his back and launches the Count of “COOL” across the ring uncontrollably, much to the dismay of Elvis Nixon who is in the way. As the two collide, Nixon collapses and rolls out of the ring.
Nick Stuart: Officiant Down!
Royko is up first and though it’s clear he is favoring his knee, he trudges toward Jiles again. The Cancerous One takes advantage of the referee being out of commission and punches Royko with everything he has in the gentleman’s vegetables. Royko drops to his knees and Cancer wastes no time laying several kicks into the bigger man’s chest. The thudding body blows are, at first, mostly shrugged off. After five strikes though, it becomes clear Jiles is having an effect.
As Joe Burro stands just outside the ring with the golden Bible and Duke stands nearby yelling and wringing his hands, Jiles has a moment of clarity and reaches for the mask.
Cancer Jiles: You crumb. Screw you and your damn mask!
Nick Stuart: I don’t understand what Jiles hopes to accomplish by doing this?
Richard Parker: Bringing down the wrath of Hoyt upon him, no doubt.
Removing the mask is no easy feat though, and before long, Cancer is tearing at it, using his foot as leverage against the behemoth’s chest.
A holy vengeance seems to enter into Royko, and he swings his arms up, breaking the hold on the mask and sending Jiles stumbling backwards. As Cancer stands back up, he finds a re-ignited Royko meeting him with an iron grip.
Royko rag-dolls Cancer Jiles with both arms, throwing him two-thirds of the way across the ring. Before Cancer has an opportunity to gather himself, John is on top of him again, scooping the smaller man up over his shoulder like a Dad with a tantruming toddler. Jiles is pounding on his back repeatedly to no avail. JKR Jr. charges across the ring and leaps forward, driving Jiles into the mat with his shoulder. They both bounce off the mat, but Cancer clearly takes the worst of it.
Nick Stuart: One has to think that if Elvis Nixon hadn’t been knocked out of the match that the end would be coming soon.
Richard Parker: Hoyt’s judgment cometh and right soon!
Nick Stuart: I am rather surprised you don’t have more empathy for Cancer Jiles here. Sure, he’s a pompous, cheating jerk, but whatever Duke Williams and this Joe Burro creep are doing with this Balaam mask isn’t exactly your cup of tea.
Richard Parker: I am a man of many tastes and I don’t need to explain myself to you, Nick.
Royko stands over his fallen opponent and looks down to Duke Williams who takes a short nip off his bottle. The Malice Man simply nods and John reaches down with a pair of vise grips around Cancer’s throat. As JRK Jr. walks forward and drags Cancer with him, Elvis Nixon slips into the ring and begins to admonish the big man for his choke hold. Seemingly without regard for the referee, Royko lifts Cancer seven feet in the air by his neck and constricts his grip. Elvis Nixon begins counting for the hold to break.
Cancer’s legs thrash and he grasps madly at JKR Jr.’s hands, but to no avail. He tries punching the mask but it does nothing.
Nick Stuart: This is unholy…demoniacal…Mephistophelian! Someone stop him!
Elvis reaches his five count and tries desperately to get John Kennedy Royko Jr. to break the hold but it’s no use.
DING DING DING
As the bell sounds, Jiles unleashes a spray of yellow mist from his mouth, which doesn’t get JKR Jr. to release his grip either. The fans are shocked, not knowing whether to boo Royko or cheer Jiles, or vice versa.
Elvis Nixon continues screaming at Royko to release the hold and grabs at his arm again, dangling helplessly from it. Duke finally whistles and the monstrous Royko releases his grip. Jiles falls to the mat in a sick heap, yellow liquid dripping out of the corners of his mouth as he huffs and coughs while laying on his back in the ring.
Vince Howard: The winner of this match, as a result of a disqualification…”COOL” CAAAANCER JILES!
Nick Stuart: Well, you wouldn’t know it by the scene playing out in front of us, but Cancer Jiles has won this match and is moving on to the Final Four of the Almasy Invitational.
Richard Parker: You hate to see it, but I just thought of something.
Nick Stuart: What’s that?
Richard Parker: I think we just discovered that believing in Hoyt is the cure for Cancer!
There is a long pause.
Nick Stuart: Really? That’s where we are going with this?
Richard Parker: That’s exactly where we’re going with this.
In the ring, Royko steps over the top rope and hops down. As “I am The Cool” plays and the fans are not sure what to make of what has just transpired, John Kennedy Royko Jr, Duke Williams, and Joe Burro walk to the back while Cancer Jiles slowly gets to his feet.